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WW2 airmen finally buried after near-70 year wait

For nearly 70 years they lay in a foreign farmer's field, unknown and unidentified.

But today, four airmen from World War Two were finally buried in a military cemetery in northern Italy.

ITV News Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy, who attended the service, reports:

Read: Belongings of WW2 pilots returned to their families almost 70 years on

A grave at last for the men of Bomber Command

by - Europe Correspondent

Sixty-eight years after they were shot down by enemy fire, a grave at last for the men of Bomber Command.

The service for the men of Bomber Command. Credit: ITV News

The four who flew together and died together will be buried together in the War Cemetery in Padua. A chance their families thought was lost after decades without news.

The bodies of Sergeant David Raikes, 20, Flight Sergeant Alexander Bostock, 20, Flight Sergeant David Millard, 20 and Warrant Officer John Hunt, 21, were recovered in July 2011 after a team of archaeologists discovered the wreckage of their Boston Bomber 5m below ground in the Po Valley, Italy.

They died in the last days of the war in Italy but no trace of their wreckage was ever found and their families were left to grieve without a body.

Those families will be at the service today, to honour their service and sacrifice.

Read: Belongings of WW2 pilots returned to their families almost 70 years on


World War II German bomber rescue delayed by winds

The only surviving German Second World War Dornier Do 17 bomber was to be raised from its watery grave in the English Channel tonight but the rescue was delayed by high winds, the RAF Museum said.

The aircraft was shot down more than 70 years ago during the Battle of Britain and the project is believed to be the biggest recovery of its kind in British waters.

A spokesman for the RAF Museum said a diver will attach a final cable by 9.30pm and then the aircraft will be lifted out of the water.

The operation has been hit by bad weather in recent weeks, forcing the museum to rethink its method.

The new plan involves attaching lifting equipment to what are believed to be the strongest parts of the aircraft's frame and raising it whole.

It will be placed on a barge in Shropshire.


Fact file: The Battle of Stalingrad

  • The Battle of Stalingrad, one of the most famous battles of the Second World War, came to an end on February 2 1943.
  • During the battle the Red Army successfully fought and encircled the Nazi onslaught, capturing more than 100,000 German soldiers in fierce street fighting.
  • The battle was among the bloodiest in history with nearly two million people losing their lives.
  • The Southern Russian city, now known as Volgograd, will once again be known as Stalingrad today to commemorate the victory.
  • The city was renamed in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union's rejection of former dictator Josef Stalin's personality cult.
  • Russia will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the battle with a schedule of events held around the country.

Russia to mark Battle of Stalingrad's 70th anniversary

Russia's President Vladimir Putin at a reception in honour of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow on Friday.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin at a reception in honour of the Battle of Stalingrad in Moscow on Friday. Credit: Reuters

Russia will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad today with a military parade.

The epic battle on the banks of the Volga River marked a key turning point of the Second World War.

President Vladimir Putin is expected in the city, now known as Volgograd, for the military parade to mark 70 years since the German surrender after the six-month battle, which became a symbol for Russians of patriotic sacrifice and unity.

Second World War RAF station for sale on eBay

The sellers hoped putting Neatishead radar base on eBay would attract extra interest. Credit: Barlow Associates / eBay

A former RAF station - complete with high-security fence, underground bunker and a helipad - has been put up for sale on eBay for £2.5m.

The Neatishead radar base in Norfolk opened in 1941 and played an important role in monitoring Britain's skies during the Second World War and the Cold War.

The 25-acre site was decommissioned in 2006, and sold to a private company.

It's been rarely used since, and has been on the market for some time.

There are 16 buildings on the site, including former radar rooms, tennis and squash courts, station headquarters and the old officers' mess.

The RAF still carries out communication work for aircraft on a small part of the site.

That work would continue, alongside the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum, which was established on the air base 14 years ago.

The page has attracted more than 5,000 hits so far - but no offers have been made.

Bidding ends on Friday 8th February.


Lost Spitfires to be excavated in Burma

Dozens of Spitfire planes were buried by British troops in Burma during the Second World War Credit: PA

The excavation of dozens of Birmingham-built Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the Second World War is set to begin.

It marks the climax of a 16-year search for the lost aircraft by Lincolnshire farmer and aircraft enthusiast David Cundall.

Mr Cundall, 63, has poured tens of thousands of pounds into the venture - he says he stopped counting when the cost hit £130,000 - and hopes the recovered aircraft can be restored and eventually returned to flight.

He believes Lord Louis Mountbatten ordered the burial of 36 Spitfires in 1945 at the Mingaladon airfield, a major British base in Burma, as the Second World War was drawing to a close.

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